Life can be so topsy turvy. Especially when you freelance. Especially when you house-sit all over the globe. I happen to do both. Still, for my sanity (and craft) I try to keep myself on a fairly regular schedule.

Regularly, days look like a version of this:

6:00 AM - rise, sip coffee, wash face
6:30 AM - workout
8:00 AM - walk to workspace
9:00 AM - read with breakfast
9:30 AM - work
3:00 PM - break
4:00 PM - work
7:30 PM - head home

What comprises "work" changes, sometimes. On the best days, the first segment equates to writing, be it for the novel or for an outlet, while the second segment equates to editing, pitching, and/or freelance work.

But again, that isn't always the case. Sometimes, I haven't hit my word count in the morning and so I take a chunk of the afternoon to write. Sometimes I look up from then to find I've been writing all day. Then, depending on how much grace I'm giving myself, I push my whole schedule back and work til 10PM, or I push the afternoon session til tomorrow afternoon and pack up and head home.

I share this as backdrop to what I want to most-of-all share. That is, the two new daily rituals I've incorporated in the past week that have really been helping me.

Two New Daily Rituals

The One Thing

This first is inspired by AJ Jacobs. It's nothing more than sitting in bed for 2 minutes at 10:30/11PM and thinking about "The One Thing." One thing, that is, that really was wonderful about the day. It's remarkable, this practice. It truly changes your outlook. Even when I'm stressed I find that if I think of something, anything, to be grateful for, that stress can slip away.

Like today I am so grateful for the sun that shone over my sister and I as we hiked Bobbit Trail (that's really the name haha!). I'm grateful I saw my anxiety rise this morning and was able to spot it, let it out, and then move on. I'm grateful for the rise and beans and avocado that topped my plate post-hike. I was starving. I needed that sustenance. And damn did it taste good. I'm grateful for the fact that we could sit outside in mid-Novemeber and drink espresso. I'm grateful that I could share all of this with my friends on Instagram, who are becoming a true online family.

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Two Submissions Per Day

And I'm grateful for this next ritual: 2 submissions per day, as inspired by my friend Waylon, who I am also eternally grateful to for the never-ending motivation and information he's provided me on my writerly path.

So, the other evening, we were chatting when he explained to me the importance of establishing a platform, for not only self-publishing, but traditional, too. This is something I know, of course, but still something I struggle with. Why? Because to do so means to extend your web, AKA submit your work to huge platforms, huge platforms that may reject you, ignore you, etc. Also, it's time consuming and, honestly, not fun.

But dio mio is it ever important.

And Waylon reminding me of just how so was the kick in the pants I needed to really commit to this. Hence the new ritual: two submissions a day. That's it. Just two. But every day.

I'm so grateful for this new practice because of how it makes me feel: responsible, professional, and willing. That is, willing to do the unsexy work in order to make my dreams a reality.

Pitching? Here's a Resource

If you're a writer and want to join me on this then I want to share with you an AMAZING list Waylon shared with me that will make pitching 100x easier. Because I don't believe in competition. I believe we all have such unique styles that the world may benefit from ingesting.

So, here it is:

The Golden List by the Amazing Kathy Benjamin

Coming Soon!!!

I've been Twitter-chatting with the incroyable Joanne Harris and may be sharing her artist journey on here very soon! You guys will just adore her, I'm sure. She's poetic, historic, and magical, all in one. And she's the author of one of my most beloved series Chocolat.

Stay tuned, sweets.

And til then, let me know what you're up to! I always love hearing from you.

Contact:
mackenzie@mackenziebelcastro.com


P.S. Since we're on the topic, did you know there is going to be a sequel to the book Daily Rituals? The author, Mason Currey, has recently told me it's out in March! (Cue my squeels, ah!!!!) And you can pre-order it now on Amazon! So, so, so much excitement. If you've ever been nosy about the lives of other artists, like I perpetually am, check it out.

(Did I say nosy? I meant curious. Ha!)